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A strong earthquake hits off the shores of northern Japan, triggering immediate tsunami alerts. A two foot wave reached the coast several minutes later.
A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.2 struck off the coast of northeast Japan on Wednesday, triggering a region-wide tsunami alert.
There are no immediate reports of damage or injuries, as the tremor shook parts of northern Japan and Tokyo.
The Japanese Meteorological Agency immediately issued a tsunami advisory of up to 20 inches.
[Official, Japanese Meteorological Agency]:
"As of this moment, along the Pacific shore of Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures, we have issued a tsunami alert. We would like everybody to be careful, and to not approach the seashore."
Throughout many towns and ports in northern Japan, heavy anti-tsunami bunker doors were closed shut, and residents were told to head for higher grounds.
[City Emergency Volunteer]:
"A tsunami is coming, a tsunami is coming."
[Unidentified Local Resident]:
"People are walking that way, it's dangerous."
Minutes later the Japanese Meteorological Agency said a two foot wave reached Ofunato port, about 280 miles from Tokyo.
The center of the tremor was six miles below the seabed, 120 miles off the coast of Aomori Prefecture.
Earthquakes are common in Japan, one of the world's most seismically active areas.
The country accounts for about 20 percent of the world's earthquakes of magnitude six or greater.